11 DRUG INSPECTORS IN PUNJAB FACE PUNITIVE ACTION.
LAHORE - Acting against the officials responsible for allowing unhindered sale of harmful Avastin eye injections, the Punjab Primary Healthcare Department took decisive action on Monday by suspending 11 drug inspectors across six districts of the province. This included three inspectors each in Lahore and Bahawalpur, two in Rahimyar Khan, and one each in Jhang, Kasur, and Khanewal. The individuals facing suspension encompassed drug inspectors, deputy drug controllers, and drug controllers. In Lahore, the suspended officials were identified as Daniyal Ilahi Cheema, Sher Muhammad Zaman, and Rana Muhammad Shahid, with two drug inspectors and a deputy drug controller among them. In Jhang, drug controller Atiya Nawaz faced suspension, while in Bahawalpur drug controllers Ali Raza and Rana Muhammad Akram, along with a deputy drug controller faced similar action. Rahimyar Khan had drug controller Ameer Shahid and deputy drug controller Farrakh Saleem suspended. Meanwhile, Kasur’s drug control Sanaullah Saif and Khanewal’s drug controller Rana Akram also faced similar consequences for their roles in this matter. Separately, Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi visited Mayo Hospital on Monday to meet with patients who had suffered vision impairment due to substandard injections. The Chief Minister Naqvi showed empathy and offered words of support to the affected individuals, including Bashir Ahmed, Shahid Saleem, Manzoor Hussain, Ayesha, Mrs. Zahida, and Afshan Bibi. During these heartfelt interactions, the patients and their families expressed their emotions, with one distressed daughter tearfully sharing her mother’s anguish and pleading for justice. Chief Minister Naqvi assured her that those responsible for her mother’s loss of sight would face legal consequences, emphasizing that FIRs had been filed, and efforts were underway to apprehend the culprits. The chief minister reaffirmed the government’s unwavering support for the affected patients, stating that all necessary resources were being mobilized for their treatment, with the Punjab government covering the cost of their care. Medical professionals, including Dr. Asad Aslam, provided updates on the patients’ conditions and treatment plans, sharing the positive news of a successful operation for patient Afshan. Talking to the media, the CM Punjab stressed that stringent legal actions would be taken against those involved in the distribution of substandard injections. He highlighted that some patients were admitted to private hospitals, while others had returned home, but the Punjab government was committed to offering comprehensive treatment services. Chief Minister Naqvi promised a thorough investigation to identify the responsible parties and determine whether the issue stemmed from the injection itself, its transportation, or temperature control, as the injections traveled from Lahore to Sadiqabad. Mohsin Naqvi emphasized the importance of accountability and expressed concern over the conduct of drug inspectors, as well as the role of the Healthcare Commission. He concluded by emphasizing the need for introspection and a commitment to improvement, stating that mere transfers of personnel would not suffice.Talking to reporters at another event on the same subject, Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi confirmed the suspension of non-standard injections’ sale in Punjab till lab reports. A final decision regarding their usage will be contingent on the lab findings. He underscored that rigorous measures have been initiated against the concerned drug inspectors and authorities responsible for substandard injection sales. In light of the nationwide spread of conjunctivitis, Chief Minister Naqvi advocated preventive measures such as regular handwashing.